When Debby Bolton signed on as a volunteer at Ypsilanti Meals on Wheels, she never intended to do anything besides help to prepare meals for delivery. But just a couple of weeks later, she agreed to ride along with Client Care Associate Eric.
“I wanted to see where the food was going. After just one ride-along, I was hooked,” said Debby, who now preps and delivers food every Wednesday and Friday.
Debby said it was the interaction with YMOW clients that convinced her to take her volunteer work beyond food preparation.
“So many are grateful and happy to see us,” she said.
One routine visit reminded Debby, and everyone at YMOW, that a delivery can serve as much more than a friendly greeting. Debby knocked on Mary’s door, expecting the usual warm greeting. But on this day, Debby’s knock went unaswered, except for a faint call for help coming from inside Mary’s house. Unable to open the locked door, Eric called for help while Debby spoke with Mary through the door, ensuring her that help was on the way.
It was only a few minutes, but Debby said it felt like forever before police, fire and paramedics arrived to find Mary on the floor of her kitchen. Mary’s son would later tell YMOW staff that his mother had fallen in the bathroom the day before. Knowing that YMOW would be there with her meals on Wednesday morning, Mary managed to move herself to within shouting distance of the door so that she could be heard when Debby and Eric arrived.
Mary knew she could count on YMOW, and YMOW did not disappoint.
“We were just doing what we were supposed to do,” Debby said. “I’m just glad we were there for her.”
Mary is now back home and she and Debby are once again enjoying their visits.
Debby also is lending her love of organization to help YMOW as we incorporate a new computerized inventory system for the Personal Care Pantry.
Supportive Services Manager Chris Brown, who oversees YMOW’s small army of volunteers, said Debby is a deserving choice for YMOW’s Volunteer of the Quarter award.
“Debby is very deserving of recognition. She's just an all-around great person to work with, and believes so strongly in the work we do,” Chris said.